Spacecraft fire safety may be improved by the use of a fire-retardant atmosphere in occupied spaces. Low concentrations of oxygen can protect humans from fire damage by reducing the rate and spread of combustion, but care must be taken to avoid the hypoxic effects of oxygen-lean atmospheres. Crews can live and work in 11 percent oxygen if barometric pressure were adjusted to maintain the partial pressure of oxygen above 16 kPa. Eleven percent oxygen should prevent most types of fires, since 15 percent oxygen retards the combustion of paper and 13 percent oxygen extinguishes pentane flames. Test results indicate that seated humans can perform mental tasks in atmospheres containing 11.5 percent oxygen. Although this strategy of fire safety is under consideration for submarines, it could be adapted to spacecraft once operational procedures define a maximum hyperbaric pressure and fire research defines the effects of reduced oxygen concentrations on combustion in low gravity environments.